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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; NZR falls, NPX up

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; NZ Refining drops on outlook, Nuplex jumps

Dec. 17 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand shares fell, led by New Zealand Refining after the nation’s only oil refinery said shrinking margins will slash full-year profit as much as 90%. Nuplex Industries gained after lifting its guidance.

The NZX 50 Index fell 9.38, or 0.3%, to 3122.91, the first decline in three days. Within the index, 17 stocks rose, 17 fell and 16 were unchanged. Turnover was $62.8 million.

NZ Refining slipped 3.7% to $3.90. Profit will be between $10 million and $20 million this calendar year. Gross refining margins fell to US$1.16 in September and October from US$9.35 at the beginning of the year and "there remains considerable uncertainty with respect to our final result", the company said in a statement this morning to the NZX.

Nuplex surged 7.7% to $2.80. The specialty chemicals maker boosted its earnings guidance and said it expects a “strong first half result” as the
Asian region continues to drive sales. It raised forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to between $110 million and $120 million in 2010 from $100 million to $110 million. That’s the second upwards revision in as many months.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 1.5% to $3.33. The manufacturer today said it will build a third building on its East Tamaki, Auckland site as part of $33 million of spending earmarked for its New Zealand operations this year.

Westpac Banking Corp. fell 3% to $28.95 and AMP Ltd. rose 3% to $7.92. in Australia, National Australia Bank Ltd. bid A$13.3 billion for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings, trumping an offer from AMP’s joint offer with French insurer Axa SA.

NZ Farming Systems Uruguay rose 2% to 48 cents. The South American dairy farm developer today trimmed its forecast annual loss amid rapid gains in dairy prices and said chairman Keith Smith will step down in favour of an independent director.

AMP NZ Office Trust fell 1.3% to 75 cents after announcing that the value of its properties fell 4.3% in the final six months of 2009.The reduction in value will be recognized against the trust’s first-half earnings.

Pan Pacific Petroleum rose 8.5% to 51 cents. Tower Ltd. rose 3.7% to $1.98 and Mainfreight L:td gained 2% to $5.76.

New Zealand Oil & Gas, whose shares dipped this week on news that 40%-owned Albacore-1 had no commercial value, was up 1.8% to $1.66.
Allied Farmers tumbled 13% to a record low 15 cents a day after investors in Hanover Finance agreed to accept some 1.9 billion shares in exchange for the loans held by the issuer of their debentures and notes.

NZ Windfarms Ltd. fell 2.2% to 45 cents after rhe windfarm developer said it will borrow up to $6.5 million from shareholder Vector Ltd. at an interest rate of 15% per annum. It also plans to raise capital in a rights issue early next year and will release more details about the deal as it progresses.


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